Under the umbrella of the Land Dialogues series, the second webinar of this year’s series “Indigenous Land Rights and the Biodiversity COP15: Six Months On” took place on May 25th, 2023. The webinar drew in a little over 350 participants and featured panelists from Indigenous women leaders to programme officers. The series is organized by a consortium of organizations, including the Land Portal Foundation, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Tenure Facility.
As an advocate for open land data, the Land Portal Foundation aims to improve access to land data, engage stakeholders, and support actions that promote data openness. I recently had the opportunity to introduce the State of Land Information Index (SOLIndex) and talk about the Open Up Guide at the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) Partners’ Meeting in Nairobi and show how these tools play a vital role in improving access to land information.
The Land Portal Foundation, as a non-profit organization operating at the intersection of the open data and land governance communities, has been privileged over the past 5-8 years to be in a position to observe some interesting trends affecting the land governance data landscape.
Linking open data for land rights
Statistical data aggregated from trusted providers
Searchable library of open access publications
Located in Central Africa, Gabon has some rather unique characteristics in terms of land tenure. It is indeed one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, one of the most urbanized and one of the richest in forests. Gabon's economy is mainly based on the exploitation of natural resources, notably oil, mining and timber. These activities occupy the vast majority of the territory. In 2022, Gabon was the most prosperous country in Africa with a high human development index.
Mexico is characterized by decentralized land governance. Most of the population lives in urban areas, although highly concentrated in a few cities, and about 21% live in rural areas. The ejidos and agrarian communities-both forms of communal land ownership-that emerged from the Mexican Revolution continue to significantly shape land governance in Mexico today.
One third of the world’s soils - including farmland, forests, rangelands, and urban land - are already degraded and it is estimated that this number could rise to almost 90% by 2050. Land Degradation occurs naturally, but research shows that land degradation is increasingly caused directly or indirectly by unsustainable human activities, notably deforestation, overgrazing, mining or intensive agriculture. This has driven biodiversity loss, desertification, and led to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
The SDG Land Tracker provides easy access to official data and information on all land-specific SDG indicators. It concisely explains the indicators, why they are important, and tracks progress.